Butoh is a contemporary dance performance movement from Japan. Water in the Desert brings some top butoh artists from Japan, Germany, Mexico and the US for three weeks of classes and public performances. The classes are sold out.
The founders of butoh were men. They were in a deep experiment with themselves, their bodies and a new performance form based on nature. They could not comprehend in the early days what explorations women would make.
Natsu Nakajima became the first woman butoh collaborator with the founders at age 19. She formed her own company, Muteki-sha, at age 26. She is an early pioneer incorporating intellectually disabled individuals into performances and continues to work at age 73.
Koichi Tamano was an early principal dancer with the founder beginning about age 19. He met his wife Hiroko in the founder's butoh dance studio when she was 18. They came to the United States in the 1970's to form their own troupe Harrupin-ha and teach in Berkeley. They also operated the wild sushi restaurant, Country Station, in the Mission, pre-gentrification. He often uses an about 10 foot diameter clear plastic sphere, performing inside it, like a giant egg. He continues to work at age 70.
Diego Piñón is a new generation butoh performer who combines psychodrama, Mexican shamanism, inspiration by the landscape of Mexico and butoh.
Yumiko Yoshioka was an early member of the female butoh group Ariadone. She now operates from the international performance center Schloss Bröllin in Germany. Each year, they gather a small number of butoh performers to collaborate.
There are a series of public talks which you can register for on the Water in the Desert Website. They are free.
Wednesday, March 16th 7pm The slowing of Time in Butoh Aesthetics
Wednesday, March 23rd 7pm Rewilding the Body
Wednesday, March 30th 7pm Unpacking Our Domestication and Domination
Sunday, April 3rd 7pm The Future of Feminine through Embodiment
There are also a series of performances with the guest artists joined by Portland and Seattle dancers. They are at 8PM and tickets are available on the Water in the Desert Website. Admission is $12-18 for each.
Saturday, March 19th Natsu Nakajima will be joined by Meshi Chavez, Teresa Venderkin, Tracy Broyles and Kay MacMillan
Friday, March 25 Koichi & Hiroko Tamano will be joined by Stephanie Lanckton, Pepper Pepper and Wobbly.
Thursday, March 31 Diego Piñón will be joined by Mizu Deiserto, Douglas Allen, Christopher Mankowski and Dreaming Body.
Saturday, April 2 Yumiko Yoshioka will be joined by Mizu Deiserto, Stephanie Lanckton, Sheri Brown, Helen Thorsen and Mary Cutera.
Butoh performances www.witd.org/witd-on-stage/ at Headwaters Theater 55 NE Farragut St. #9. The theater is in the back of the building by the active railroad tracks facing Winchell Street. Map various dates see above